There are in fact multiple circles of players and influence surrounding the Thai royal family, often times with little overlap but with competing agendas, fueled by years of physical separation and vacillating relationships between principals. Separate centers of influence/players focus around: King Bhumibol; Queen Sirikit; Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn; Princess Sirindhorn; and the Privy Council, though the latter has less access/influence than many suppose. In addition, there are supporting bureaucratic entities such as the Office of Principal Private Secretary, the Royal Household Bureau, the Crown Property Bureau, and the Privy Purse, which employ thousands and manage assets in the billions, as well as a bevy of minor royals whose motorcades routinely clog Bangkok’s roads.
At some point in the not too distant future Thailand will have to face its problems without the presence of the closest thing there is to an indispensable man.[King Bhumibol Adulyadej image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]